There is a lot of commotion going on outside my window door. In fact, its all the louder because we have opened it up to let in any breeze we can get.
This commotion seems to never stop. Even in the middle of the night we can still hear the commotion of city life. Even our neighbor seems to be awake at all hours of the night.
As an introvert this is definitely not ideal. But as an introvert it is better to be in your apartment and hear the commotion rather being in the commotion. Have you ever felt that you might be trampled upon because of the herds of people surrounding you? Go to the Israeli market and you might feel just that way.
Despite my continuous desire to be away from it all and be some where quiet, a desire that cannot be met in this season of my life, I have found some pros to it all.
This happens to be a great place for people watching.
All I must do is look out my window on the bustling street below and there are numerous people right there to observe. So many personalities, cultures, lifestyles to observe right from my apartment window.
As I have written before, to write well, one also must first observe well.
So I find that although I cannot always love all the never ceasing clatter and noise of the street below, there is a season for everything and now must be a season of breathing deeply and observing greatly.
Observing the real people around me are perfect sources for being able to create real characters.
My dream atmosphere for writing is a peaceful morning surrounded by the country landscape with nothing but the sound of nature to be heard, Possibly beside a gurgling brook.
Well, maybe some day my dream writing world will be fulfilled, but not today and probably not any time soon.
This morning is Tyler and my first morning in our apartment in Jerusalem, Israel.
Its a small apartment, I mean a very small apartment, also known as a studio. But this is an Israeli studio. We have a kitchen of sorts and we have a bedroom of sorts and it is the same room. And we have a bathroom, but it is the size of an American half-bathroom. Did you know that was possible? Well, apparently it is.
I thought I lived in the city before I moved here, but now I can dream of my old home in Minneapolis as a quiet little neighborhood compared to my new little home.
We are literally right above one of the busiest streets, with a tram running through every few minutes. This is City Center.
I have my own little coffee table set up again. It makes me feel more truly at home. We have unpacked our few belongings which is really quite a lot when you have to drag several suitcases through the street, on to a bus, into a cab, up some stairs.
So this morning I sipped on a hot mug of coffee, freshly ground. We have our window wide open to hear all the morning hubbub and to let a gentle breeze in. This is my new writing spot for the next year or so.
It is not a dream writing spot, but it is home for write now, so this is where I will write.
I am sure there are many special things about Israel that I will learn over the next few months. But let me share with you a particular speciality I have discover after only being here for a little over a week. Coffee.
Yes, Coffee! There are lots of coffee shops around where you can buy a steaming cup of coffee or a bag of coffee beans etc. But when it comes to buying coffee to make at home and you go to the little grocery store around the corner, guess what you find? You find instant coffee. Lots of options of their delicious instant coffee. Like, only instant coffee.
Now after living for several years in Minneapolis where I think people are known for their coffee snobbery, I may have become more picky with my own coffee myself, but I never considered myself a complete coffee snob. Until Now.
I move to Israel and am surprised to find that to buy real coffee beans you actually have to go to real coffee shops rather than just the grocery stores where I am used to finding plenty of options for coffee beans.
So I did a little research, and it appears that it is actually a real thing here. You can either go to a coffee shop and get a nice cup of real coffee. Or you make your coffee at home with instant coffee. You pour hot water into the dissolvable grounds and you have what they call coffee.
Thankfully I am in luck since I brought my little coffee bean grinder with me and an Aeropress. So I can continue to enjoy my real coffee beans and keep grinding them myself, too.
New things to learn every day.
Here we are in Israel at last. And here is a short update so far of life and experiences in Israel.
Flying was long and definitely something I don't want to do very often.
Using a taxi in Israel is extremely expensive (or maybe I am unexperienced in the cost of public transportation), but at least I can say I used one now (and hope to not have to use one again).
When we think it is really hot everyone else around us shakes their head and confirms this is nothing compared to how hot it can get.
Both of our phones are really old and therefore, won't take a SIM card in Israel.
Communication without phones can be incredibly frustrating when you are not on wifi.
Without your own car, one has to walk a LOT.
The sun is brutal for the fair skinned. Ok, I already knew this but....
Saying "thank you" in Hebrew is about the only thing I can say so far, but hey its a start.
I am thankful for a husband who does know some Hebrew so we can manage to get around. But also thankful that most people at least speak a little English.
I thought Minnesotans were bad at honking their horns, but I think I have been proved wrong. Israel is way worse.
Although things are fairly modernized in most places in Israel it is still in some ways very different then the U.S.A.
I think the markets can be a lot of fun, but it will take me a little while to figure out the money here so I can know if I am getting a good deal or not.
We are only days away from flying out to Israel where we make our home for the next couple years. In fact, if all goes well, my next post will be written in Israel.
I thought I would try to piece together my thoughts and write a coherent post.
Our plans for arrival in a foreign country is all a bit fuzzy. Really we don't have definitive plans. The theme these days is trust God. Trust God and he will make a way. And he does. Tyler and I have together witnessed time and again God's faithfulness as we prepare for this upcoming journey. But I assure you that we don't always have an answer.
I remember about this time six years ago I was about to head off to college. And five years later I came out on the other side of that journey. I crossed the finish line. I got my bachelor's degree.
But the pathway through all of that was not always clear. I remember talking to a friend in my second or third year of school and feeling very uncertain of my purpose in life, particularly with school. But my friend remarked that I was walking by faith.
I guess that theme has stuck with me. Walk by faith and not by sight.
Here I am now about to head off to Israel with my husband while he goes to school. And I am reminded once more to walk by faith.
The pathway isn't terribly clear to me right now. Details still need to be worked out. I know I will be there to support my husband, but beyond that I can not say what God has planned for me there. But I know it's another opportunity to remember that walking with God is to walk by faith and not by sight.
Call me crazy and I would say I've been calling myself crazy for a whole lot longer than you have.
I love the music of the keys.
Let me explain.
For the past six years or so I have typed away on what was called a Windows Surface, very similar to a tablet. It has no keyboard, just a popup screen keyboard. Its exasperating and technically not created to be doing large amounts of writing. But I do sometimes defy all logic. For about five years I did almost all of my college papers on that Surface, slowly and silently typing away on the screen. And yes, my roommates laughed, friends laughed, everyone laughed and maybe I cried. But I did make it through my five years of college and with a bachelors degree at that. And yes, faithfully typing my many papers onto that small screen. Sometimes patiently, sometimes not so patiently. But I did do it stubbornly, very stubbornly.
But I am happy to say that at least for a little while things seem to be looking up. I finally have a real laptop to use. I am truly delighting in the sound of a real keyboard as I type away on my laptop. It makes me feel like I am actually writing something and making progress. Its music to my ears to hear the clicking and tapping of the keys.
I have been trying to get back into my writing in the last couple months after a bit of a break. Yes, the five years of college may be what did me in with writing for a while. But a real keyboard to type on is making it much more exciting, now that the passion for written words is returning to me.